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Let’s get one thing very clear before we even discuss what may be the best ab exercise: if you’re looking to show off your abs, you need to watch what goes into your mouth. No amount of specific abdominal exercises can spot reduce the belly fat that’s covering up your muscles.

We all anatomically have a washboard, and exercise can make that washboard stronger and harder. Remember: good-looking abs are revealed with proper nutrition, but good functioning abs are built with proper training.

Core Wars: Science Shows Us the Most Effective Abs Exercises

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy has compared core muscle activation during Swiss ball and traditional abdominal exercises in order to help us see through the confusion and truth as to which abdominal exercise options offer the most bang for our abdominal training buck.

According to the researchers of this study, “Numerous Swiss ball abdominal exercises are employed for core muscle strengthening during training and rehabilitation, but there are minimal data to substantiate the ability of these exercises to recruit core muscles. It is also unknown how core muscle recruitment
in many of these Swiss ball exercises compares to core muscle recruitment in traditional abdominal exercises such as the crunch and bent-knee sit-up.”

The researchers in this study looked at the EMG activity of several Swiss ball abdominal exercises like: pikes, knee tucks and roll-out, along with two traditional abdominal exercises (the crunch and bent-knee sit-up) as mentioned above.

Note: EMG is short for “electromyography.” EMG measures the electrical activity of muscles during exercise. It should be noted that while EMG doesn’t directly measure muscular tension, it is a way to measure the central nervous system’s signal to the muscles. In that, increased EMG activity is indicative of the nervous system’s attempt to produce more muscular force.

The researchers in this study looked for the exercises that created the highest EMG activity in the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis, obliques internal and external) while also creating the lowest EMG activity in the lower back and hip flexors muscles.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the “The Swiss ball roll-out and Swiss ball pike were the most effective exercises in activating upper and lower rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques, and latissimus dorsi muscles, while minimizing lumbar paraspinals and rectus femoris activity.”

Translation: The ball pike and ball roll-out exercises force your abdominals to work the hardest while your lower back and hip flexors – areas that can take over in other traditional abs exercises -are almost completely left out. So while a crunch works your abs only with help from other areas, the roll-out and pike isolate your abs much more effectively.

The Pike Roll-out: The Single Best Ab Exercise

In light of the above-mentioned study’s results, we’ve taken both the Swiss ball pike and ball roll-out exercise and combined them to make one ultimate ab exercise: The pike roll-out, which we’ve crowned “the single best ab exercise.”

The truth of the matter is, a comprehensive abdominal training program should include several different exercise applications to ensure your workouts are well-rounded and hit the abs from all angles. That said, the purpose of this article is to share with you the one abs exercise we put at the top of the list.

Three Ways to Do the Pike Roll-out

The beauty of this exercise is not only its effectiveness, but also in its versatility. In that, the pike roll-out exercise can be performed using a Swiss ball, suspension straps, or without using any special fitness equipment at all.

So no matter where you are and what type of equipment you’re working with (or not working with), you can do “the single best abs exercise.” Here are three variations of the pike roll-out to try.

1. Swiss Ball Pike Roll-Out

Set Up Hold yourself in a push-up position with your feet on a Swiss ball that’s between 55-65 cm in size. (To make the exercise easier, move the Swiss ball toward your belly button)

Action With your body in a plank (straight) position, keep your legs straight and push your hips toward the ceiling while keeping your back flat. After straightening your hips and coming back to the start position, push your body backwards on the ball until your arms are fully extended in front of you and your legs are fully extended behind you. Reverse the motion and repeat.

The Best Ab Exercise

2. Pike Roll-Out With Suspension Straps

Set Up Assume a push-up position with your hands on the floor and your ankles inside of the straps at roughly the same height as your shoulders. Your feet should be directly underneath of the anchor point.

Action Drive your body backward until you feel like you can no longer maintain your spinal alignment. Then reverse the direction by moving your shoulders back over your hands while you simultaneously use your abs to pull your legs toward your chest by lifting your hips up into the air.

Note: You can also perform the suspension version of this exercise from your elbows. If you choose the elbow option, be sure to lower the straps so your feet are kept at the same height as your shoulders to ensure proper body alignment.

The Best Ab Exercise

3. Bodyweight Pike Roll-Out

Set Up Assume an elbow plank position with your feet on a slippery surface, like a towel on a tile floor.

Action Drive your body backwards as far as possible until you feel you cannot maintain the straight spine position you began with. Then reverse the direction by moving your shoulders back over your elbows while you simultaneously use your abs to pull your legs toward your chest by lifting your hips up into the air.

Tips on Performing the Pike Roll-out:
Regardless of which of the three versions of the pike roll-out you’re doing, be sure to follow these tips to ensure you apply the exercise as safely and effectively as possible:

• On the pike aspect of the exercise, lift your hips up until they are almost above (but not directly above) your shoulders. Once your hips do get directly above your shoulders, the tension is greatly reduced on your abs, which you don’t want.
• If you feel pressure at your lower back as you perform the roll-out aspect of the exercise, you’ve gone too far beyond your strength threshold. Therefore, simply reduce your range of motion so you can perform the exercise in a pain-free manner.
• If you’ve got bad wrists that prevent you from performing the push-up position, simply perform the versions on your elbows.
• To decrease the difficulty of the exercise, you can modify the action by performing a knee tuck (instead of a pike) by bending your knees and pulling them into your chest.

Set & Reps
Perform 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps. Pause for 1-2 seconds at each end of the exercise. Also, be sure to transition through each position of each rep in a smooth manner using deliberate control.


J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2010;40(5):265-276, Epub 22 April 2010. doi:10.2519/jospt.2010.3073

The post What Is the Best Ab Exercise? appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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Published Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2020 14:52:38 +0000

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Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success

Equally significant is the need for businesses to remain vigilant about broader shifts in both domestic and global markets. Macro factors, whether they’re economic trends, geopolitical events, or emerging global challenges, can have profound ripple effects, impacting even the most niche industries. By staying abreast of these larger market dynamics, businesses can better anticipate risks, adapt to challenges, and capitalize on new opportunities. In an ever-globalizing world, the ability to navigate both the nuances of one’s immediate market and the broader global shifts is what separates thriving enterprises from those that falter.

TACTICAL Takeaway: Stay sharp and monitor your industry’s trends. When things shift, being ahead in understanding consumer habits offers you the flexibility to adjust and succeed. Things can change rapidly and the sooner you have insight into consumer behavior changes, the more opportunities you have to pivot.


Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The sports nutrition industry is an interesting, fast-paced vertical where what’s old can quickly become new again but also what worked yesterday likely won’t work tomorrow.

It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s spot-on. Take creatine as an example. It hit the shelves in the early 1990s and quickly became a hit. Yet, a decade later, its demand had waned. Jump another decade to today, and it’s back more popular than ever.

TACTICAL Takeaway: The key for businesses is knowing when to go all-in on a product and when to ease off, as it’s the ever-changing consumer market that truly drives demand.

Never Rest On Your Laurels

Just because something “has always worked” doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to work (or continue to work as efficiently).

In the dynamic world of business, the saying “never rest on your laurels” holds more truth than ever. What propelled a company to success yesterday might not necessarily be the formula for its tomorrow’s success. Market demands, technological innovations, and consumer preferences are in a perpetual state of evolution. While a particular strategy or product might have been a game-changer at one point, there’s no guarantee that it will remain relevant or effective in the future. This inherent unpredictability underscores the need for adaptability and forward-thinking in any business endeavor.

This reality pushes companies to be proactive, always forecasting and adjusting to the next potential shift. Relying solely on past successes can lull businesses into complacency, risking obsolescence in the face of changing tides.

TACTICAL Takeaway: To remain competitive and relevant, businesses need to cultivate a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and agility. In essence, the past can inform and guide, but it’s the vision and readiness for the future that will determine enduring success.

Embracing The Journey

To any entrepreneur reading this: the road to success is rarely a straight one. At times, it may seem like every decision leads to a dead end. But remember, every misstep is an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot.

The trials you face in business are not meant to discourage you. Instead, they are meant to shape you, refine your vision, and improve your strategy. As the age-old adage goes, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It’s the challenges that will arm you with the experience and resilience necessary for long-term success.

So, the next time you face a setback, remember that your next big success could be just around the corner. Embrace failure as a part of the process, learn from your mistakes, and continue pushing forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. With so much time spent working and navigating challenges, it’s essential to find joy and have fun along the way.


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Negativity Is a Losing Mindset

By Marc Lobliner


‘A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.’

I coach my son’s U11 football team. I am just the line coach, but the dudes who coach with me are also in the same mindset as I am.

Positivity wins.

Let’s start off with last weekend’s game.

It’s 0-0, the opening kickoff is a short one and we fall on it.

You can hear our coaches getting our kids fired up and getting the offense ready for play. POSITIVE statements. A lot of “Let’s Go!” and energy.

On the other sideline, you hear the coaches angrily yelling at their players for the execution of the kick.

First play from scrimmage, our line makes every block and opens the outside for our running back to score.

You hear their coaches furiously yelling as we celebrate.

We celebrated and our fullback punched in the extra point.

After the kickoff, our defense held them to four and out. We got the ball again, touchdown. Extra point good.

14-0 in two offensive plays.s

Their coaches were still mad. Angry. Yelling.

We smiled, encouraged our kids, and ended up with a 42-0 mercy-rule win.

Our players are awesome, but not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest.

It’s all about culture and what you’re playing for.

We demand a lot of our athletes. Learn your plays, DO YOUR JOB, and we will win.

Every Tuesday after we win, I buy my linemen doughnuts and give them to everyone, telling them that a random lineman (changes weekly) said everyone deserves doughnuts. We don’t punish every mistake with extra running and up-downs. We focus on what we do RIGHT, and not what we do wrong.

The other game one of my linemen got called for a hold. He came off the field expecting to be scolded. I put my arm around him and said, “What happened?” He explained it and then I said, “You’re better than that guy, you don’t need to hold. Show the world how dominant you are!” He didn’t get one call the rest of the game and crushed it.

This is also my management style at work. Managers are usually garbage. You can do 1,000 things right and you mess up once and your manager attacks you.

556494762 fullsizerender 4


Employees typically respond better to positivity, and numerous studies have found that positive reinforcement and a positive work environment can significantly improve employee motivation, performance, and well-being. Here are some reasons why, supported by various studies:

Increased Productivity: According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive. The research shows that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity.

Better Decision-Making Abilities: Research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center found that individuals who were induced to feel positive emotions were better at problem-solving and making decisions than those in a neutral state.

Boosts Creativity: Positive emotions widen attention and allow people to think more broadly and openly. This is discussed in the “broaden-and-build theory” by Barbara Fredrickson, which suggests that positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoires.

Enhanced Team Collaboration: A study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that teams that communicate effectively, with members actively reaching out and connecting with all other team members, were more successful. Positive interactions contribute to this dynamic.

Reduced Employee Turnover: According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a positive work environment and culture encourages employees to stay longer in their jobs, thus reducing turnover rates. This is KEY at where our staff has mostly been there for 5+ years!

Better Health & Well-being: A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that positive work environments and low job stress are linked to better health outcomes for employees, which in turn can lead to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.

Increased Engagement: According to Gallup, workers who are engaged and have high well-being are more likely to be attached to their organizations and are more productive.

Enhanced Learning & Flexibility: Research in the field of positive psychology has shown that positive emotions can facilitate adaptive thinking and flexibility in cognitive processing. This helps employees adapt to new situations and learn more effectively.

Higher Levels of Satisfaction: A study by BrightHR found that happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction. Happy employees are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs than those who report low levels of happiness.

Creates a Positive Feedback Loop: A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that experiencing positive emotions leads to higher levels of resilience, which in turn leads to increased positive emotions. This positive feedback loop has a myriad of beneficial effects in the workplace.

How about parenting?

Same thing. PRAISE YOUR CHILD! Make sure they know you love them. While bad behavior should be addressed, be sure to also reward good behavior. Kid had a good day at school? Get him ice cream! Tell him you love him. Say you’re proud of him.

As my mother said, “You catch more flies with honey than with crap.”

And one can’t deny the lifelong impact of a good coach. As the sign in the office says, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”

Be positive and be a winner!

556494785 img 1682 2

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Instagram @marclobliner

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Panatta Super Rowing Page 1

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